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Searching For Self Through Style

We all know the struggles of conforming to the CB dress code. It can be hard to feel comfortable and like yourself while wearing clothes that don’t fit your style. The dress code limits students’ self-expression. However, CB students have found creative ways to express themselves with these limitations. Hairstyles, makeup, jewelry, water bottles, and […]

We all know the struggles of conforming to the CB dress code. It can be hard to feel comfortable and like yourself while wearing clothes that don’t fit your style. The dress code limits students’ self-expression. However, CB students have found creative ways to express themselves with these limitations. Hairstyles, makeup, jewelry, water bottles, and backpacks are just a few examples of ways students at CB express themselves. 

“[The dress code] really allowed me to force myself to be more creative under restrictions,” shared Kenny Ortiguesa (‘22). “I was still able to find ways to express myself through my tote bags and jewelry.”

Other students have adapted quickly to the CB dress code with no issues because of their self-confidence.

“I know a lot of people complain about the dress code, but I feel like even with the dress code now, I still am able to express myself because I’ve just become a lot more comfortable with my style,” says Sophia Garcia (‘23).

By accessorizing, CB students have found ways to show who they are to everyone around them.

“I like to get stickers – my entire Hydroflask is full of stickers. I wear so much jewelry – genuinely too much jewelry,” a self-proclaimed maximalist Sophia says.

While maximalism is how Sophia feels most comfortable at school, Kenny is more of an accessorizer. 

“I like using a lot of neutral colors and extensive tote bags,” shared Kenny. “I have a couple of tote bags, and I like switching them up to match every outfit.” 

While dress code is often viewed as a restriction to self-expression, it can be beneficial to growth.

“Just put on a t-shirt with a fun long sleeve and accessorize. Those are things that are still allowed, so I feel like it hasn’t taken too much of a toll on me,” Sophia says.

Even with the restrictions of the dress code, it is important for to express yourself for yourown well-being. 

“I think it’s just as important to express your identity as it is to express your emotions — you can’t just bottle it up forever,” says Kenny. “It’s really unhealthy to do that, and…expressing your ideas is the best way to help them grow.”

Self-expression is not only important for you to feel comfortable, but it can be a way for students to build friendships and become a real mood booster.

“I think that self-expression is really important just so that everyone feels comfortable with themselves in their own skin and just accurately represents who they are to the people around them because you want to surround yourself with similar people,” says Sophia. “You gain that comfort from similar people.”

“In the least superficial way possible, it is something that can alleviate any negative stressors” shared Kenny.

Expressing yourself is not for the validation of others, but for your own happiness. 

 “I don’t even do it for other people — I do it for myself to make myself feel better and happy, and that’s definitely something I find joy in,” says Sophia.

But because people are constantly changing, self-expression can change with that. 

“I always dress how I feel 00 if I’m feeling excited and ready and energized, I’ll put on fun colors to boost my mood or show people I’m feeling colorful inside and outside. If I’m having a rough morning, rough day, rough week, I’ll show that too through darker colors or makeup,” says Sophia.

Self-expression and self-discovery are journeys that everyone goes through and everyone has different methods of finding themselves. 

“Just try a little bit of everything,” says Sophia. “There’s obviously no right way to express yourself because the right way is what is right for you.” 

Experimentation is a huge part of finding out what fits you best and makes you happiest.

“I’ve bought some questionable clothes that I look back on. I’m just like ‘okay that’s definitely a statement but a statement I would probably never say again’” shares Kenny. “There’s a lot of retrospection that you go through like you’ll look through pictures from the past and be like, ‘Oh, I actually really like how these clothes look together or how that fit of pants look with that shirt,’ or you’ll be like ‘I hate that. I know what to avoid now.’” 

Being true to yourself is essential for self-confidence and growing as a person. Self-discovery is a never-ending journey because people are constantly growing and improving.  Going along with the crowd and pretending to be someone you’re not is detrimental to your happiness. Do what makes you happy and comfortable, not what you think will make others happy.

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